Old 12-30-2016, 09:11 PM   #1
BRBWaffles
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Default Mixing Template 2.0 (Update)

Some of you found the last Mixing Template useful. So, I made quite a few adjustments, fixed some errors, added a few more buses, receives, and mixing options built in.

Rock Mixing Template 2.0: https://stash.reaper.fm/v/29346/MixingTemplate.rpp

Overview Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nzg7wMx2vVY

So, right off the bat there are a lot of tracks, and I mean a LOT of tracks. Almost to the point of absurdity, I know. But, the point is that you can really just delete any unnecessary tracks. I designed the template for extreme redundancy, so that I'd more or less be able to drop nearly any sort of stems into the template with minimal adjustments. If I'm dropping 20 stems into the session, I could I usually get rid of most of the tracks in the template and be left with something pretty reasonable. It doesn't take a lot of time to delete tracks. It's also important to keep in mind that I was taught to mix mostly through buses, and to only process individual tracks when it's necessary. It's an old habit, and if you're not accustomed to that particular workflow, this template probably isn't for you. But, on the other hand if you use a similar workflow or you are curious about what that workflow feels like, this template might be for you. It should also be noted that you need to enable "auto-arrange tracks in mixer", "group folders to left", and "group tracks with receives to left" in order to view the template at its best.

I left a few Cockos or JS plugins in key places where I think certain processing ideas are usually necessary. For example, I have a ducking side-chain on the bass bus that is triggered by the kick bus, high and low filters on split bass and tom tracks, etc. There are a ton of receiving tracks for lots of different applications, ranging from delay, reverb, excitation, saturation, compression, etc. So, check the sends to see what is going where to get an idea of what they're all for.

I have certain tracks (like guitar, toms, etc) grouped for panning so that tracks that need to be panned together do pan together. I have VCA groups for every major instrument group (drum VCA, bass VCA, etc). I also have a (somewhat redundant) master VCA for those of you who like to do master volume automation.

I'm sure nearly all of you have your own workflows and would find this nearly completely useless. But as long as someone gets something out of it, I'd be pleased. Even if it's just take a couple cool ideas away and they think the rest is total garbage, I feel as though it would be worth it to post it.

I'm also open to suggestions about how to make it better. Feel free to point out any weirdness or ridiculous oversights as well.


Last edited by BRBWaffles; 04-02-2017 at 10:18 PM. Reason: Updatezzzz
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Old 12-31-2016, 03:54 AM   #2
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Thanks for that! Looks like it could save a lot of time.
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Old 12-31-2016, 05:35 AM   #3
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Thank you very much for sharing this!
BTW Would like to know the name of the theme/skin that you are using.
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Old 12-31-2016, 06:42 AM   #4
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Thanks, going to take a look.
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Old 12-31-2016, 08:15 AM   #5
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Thank you very much for sharing this!
BTW Would like to know the name of the theme/skin that you are using.
No problem! I hope you find it useful! I'm using the paid version of iLogic NeXt.
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Old 04-02-2017, 09:27 PM   #6
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Hey, everyone. I just uploaded an updated and more polished version of the Rock Mixing Template to the Reaper Stash. Details in the original post above.
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Old 12-02-2017, 12:16 AM   #7
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Just downloaded and had a look

Not bad! I'm not done analyzing, but it has great potential for what I'm doing.

I would need to customize it for my needs.

Perhaps a little more 'stereo' friendly? I see you have some encoding/decoding stuff in there

I really like the VCA aspect of your template. This is great for dealing with post-fader issues in the AUX volume. I do wonder why you chose VOLUME SLAVE not the generic SLAVE? I'll need to make sure it does the same...

One thing I'll customize for my own needs is add a folder on top of everything. Well, I think it will be a folder with two tracks. You got the idea of putting a MASTER VCA volume, which is great, but I need more control over the project. This is because I got into the habit of always creating a PRE-MASTER track that receives everthing, and send to the Master TRack (that only receives one thing, the Pre-Master track). I pretend that the PRE-MASTER is the actual MASTER. Therefore the PRE-MASTER has the final buss compression, final EQ, and Limiter. This means that the real Master Track is always clean; no effects are needed. Why do I do this? For two reasons: 1) Some plugins, don't ask why, use more CPU when they are on the Master Track rather than on a regular tracks, and 2) I like to upload reference tracks (i.e. commercial songs) to compare with my mix. If find it very useful when the MAster Track has NO FX's! I can A/B my mix (i.e. the Pre-Master track) VS a reference track. If the MAster has a bunch of effects I have to disable them before I listen to my reference song. SUre... There are ways around this, by routing differently, I think? But, no matter, I still like to have a 'clean' Master. This way, once I'm done mixing my song, I can rest a few days, come back and then use the clean Master Track and pretend I'm a Mastering Engineer who need to do a separate job. It's psychological...

Regarding the 'stereo' stuff, I think I'll try to set up in the top folder (which will be under the control of the Master VCA volume) with two track; both track will receive everthing so that I can add Voxengo's Mid-Side Encoder-Decoder in their FX -- one will be set to listen to the side, and the other the mids. They will sum up. This way, I will be able to process mids vs sides with separate compression, stereo enhancing, etc...

Ok. I'm going to listen to your YouTube video now.

Thanks for getting this ball rolling! I needed that extra motivation and help setting the basics up.

Cheers

Last edited by RDBOIS; 12-02-2017 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:09 AM   #8
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Default Quite a piece of work.

I just downloaded the latest version of your mixing template. I had downloaded it about a year ago, but I hadn't really settled on a consistent workflow at the time, and couldn't find much use for it. It looks like now it's just what I need. I've got a lot of ideas for some customizations. I'll be sure to upload a copy of I come up with any significant changes.

If I have any questions or need some help I may be contacting you with some requests. Thanks a lot. I can really appreciate the time and effort you put into this template.
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:08 PM   #9
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I really like the VCA aspect of your template. This is great for dealing with post-fader issues in the AUX volume.

So what are the issues in not using a VCA and what are the advantages? I read a bit on them, and from what I got out of it was that the summing is different.

I just don't yet see how the signal flow works, or how it is advantageous yet.
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Old 12-14-2017, 02:13 PM   #10
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So what are the issues in not using a VCA and what are the advantages? I read a bit on them, and from what I got out of it was that the summing is different.

I just don't yet see how the signal flow works, or how it is advantageous yet.

The main advantage, IMO, is that when you send BOTH the instrument track AND the reverb bus (for example) to a VCA track, the volume slider on the VCA track controls both volumes at the same time. This is different than if you were to, say, send an instrument to the master (or the top level folder) and also send the reverb bus to the master. What happens in that case is that when you move the volume of the instrument it doesn't change the volume of the reverb bus. So ever time to change the volume of the instrument you have to go back to the reverb bus volume and make it follow.

When you wrap both instrument and reverb bus in a VCA track, when you're mixing that VCA (e.g. guitars) with the rest all you need to do is adjust the VCA slider up or down.

Recently I also learned, thanks to Tod in another thread, that you can turn the VCA track into a folder, therefore the VCA master can be the top dog of a collection of folders and/or tracks, serve it's purpose while also having the function of a top folder (e.g. can host FXs, envelops, etc.).

This template is not set up with VCA as top dog folder, but simple as a volume slider that is linked to the effect buses. It's useful for mixing STEMS that will also adjust the effects volumes. Myself, I modified this template to have the VCAs also become top dog folders.
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Old 12-14-2017, 02:54 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by RDBOIS View Post
The main advantage, IMO, is that when you send BOTH the instrument track AND the reverb bus (for example) to a VCA track, the volume slider on the VCA track controls both volumes at the same time. This is different than if you were to, say, send an instrument to the master (or the top level folder) and also send the reverb bus to the master. What happens in that case is that when you move the volume of the instrument it doesn't change the volume of the reverb bus. So ever time to change the volume of the instrument you have to go back to the reverb bus volume and make it follow.

When you wrap both instrument and reverb bus in a VCA track, when you're mixing that VCA (e.g. guitars) with the rest all you need to do is adjust the VCA slider up or down.

Recently I also learned, thanks to Tod in another thread, that you can turn the VCA track into a folder, therefore the VCA master can be the top dog of a collection of folders and/or tracks, serve it's purpose while also having the function of a top folder (e.g. can host FXs, envelops, etc.).

This template is not set up with VCA as top dog folder, but simple as a volume slider that is linked to the effect buses. It's useful for mixing STEMS that will also adjust the effects volumes. Myself, I modified this template to have the VCAs also become top dog folders.
I use a top level folder for Superior Drummer, that has inside it, a reverb track, a MIDI input track, and 6 audio tracks coming from Superior.

If I were to ride the fader on that folder, which has below it the reverb, midi track, and 6 audio track, does it not fade everything in the folder together? I'm asking because I never change my faders from unity gain, and do all my track balancing through the plugins and FX to get a static mix where all tracks can be heard. Then I might use automation to pull things back or push things more forward throughout the playback of a song.

I guess I'm still trying to see how putting a guitar track and a reverb track together in a VCA folder is better than putting them in a plain Jane folder, especially if there will be no gain changes happening on that VCA folder or plain Jane folder. It is possible that mebbie I'm jus stoopid! <g>
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Old 12-14-2017, 04:04 PM   #12
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I've found interesting that the MASTER VCA is grouped normally with volume master/slave to the other VCA masters, not just as another VCA master for all groups.
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Old 12-14-2017, 05:17 PM   #13
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I use a top level folder for Superior Drummer, that has inside it, a reverb track, a MIDI input track, and 6 audio tracks coming from Superior.

If I were to ride the fader on that folder, which has below it the reverb, midi track, and 6 audio track, does it not fade everything in the folder together? I'm asking because I never change my faders from unity gain, and do all my track balancing through the plugins and FX to get a static mix where all tracks can be heard. Then I might use automation to pull things back or push things more forward throughout the playback of a song.

I guess I'm still trying to see how putting a guitar track and a reverb track together in a VCA folder is better than putting them in a plain Jane folder, especially if there will be no gain changes happening on that VCA folder or plain Jane folder. It is possible that mebbie I'm jus stoopid! <g>
To be honest I barely understand all this stuff... When it comes to these things I'm sloooooow. LOL

All I know is that using VCA, the way I do, is useful to link a bus (like to reverb) to an instrument so that one volume slider will action both.

Perhaps you can read this forum thread: https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=200408

These guys seem to understand VCA. I procrastinate when I mess around with routing stuff... I really just need to focus on writing better songs. That's all I really have control over. I like to pretend that having a better workflow (e.g. a good template) will help solve the fact that I have cheap gear, can't mix properly because I don't have real monitors, don't have quality plugins, have no hardware, etc.

I'd say that if your workflow works then that's all you need.

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Old 12-14-2017, 06:57 PM   #14
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To be honest I barely understand all this stuff... When it comes to these things I'm sloooooow. LOL

All I know is that using VCA, the way I do, is useful to link a bus (like to reverb) to an instrument so that one volume slider will action both.

Perhaps you can read this forum thread: https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=200408

These guys seem to understand VCA. I procrastinate when I mess around with routing stuff... I really just need to focus on writing better songs. That's all I really have control over. I like to pretend that having a better workflow (e.g. a good template) will help solve the fact that I have cheap gear, can't mix properly because I don't have real monitors, don't have quality plugins, have no hardware, etc.

I'd say that if your workflow works then that's all you need.


I'll check that link out that you posted. I used to have a modular patch bay synth that I built from a kit, so when I saw VCA being mentioned, it piqued my interest. I'm sure that there are no actual control voltages being used, but if I'm missing out on something cool that a VCA can do that a folder can't do, then I want to know more about it. I looked up in the user guide and it was somewhat vague on the subject.

Thanks for the link, I'll see if I can garner any more insight from it.
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:00 PM   #15
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Really good template, I will try it out. How did you get your layout with the Track Manager and FX Browser to the left of the Mixer and Arrange View? I can't do that. I have the mixer always down in the whole area.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ibm4mac58n...58-58.png?dl=0
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Old 08-18-2019, 06:13 PM   #16
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Sorry to zombie, but this was referenced in a recent post and thought it was worth a bump and a thank you. So thanks!

Sweet fancy jeebus. I really suck at this apparently (Reaper in general). It's great that there are so many knowledgeable and generous ppl here to post stuff like this.

Stupid question: Do you need 2 monitors to use something like this? I'm used to seeing the track views and edit cursor and whatnot.
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